Lawyer: Police shock family in dawn raid

National, Normal

The National – Monday, July 4th 2011


A TEAM of police officers allegedly stormed the home of National Planning secretary Joseph Lelang and harassed his wife and children early last Friday, his lawyer Philemon Korowi claims.

Korowi told reporters that the officers entered the home at around 4am last Friday and demanded to know the whereabouts of Lelang. 

He questioned the actions of the police officers, saying they had traumatised the family.

“We deplore the conduct of the policemen as being unprofessional, undisciplined and sinister,’’ he said.

Lelang was charged by police earlier this year with breaking in and entering his office after he was reinstated by the court to his current position. He had been earlier suspended from that position over certain allegations levelled against him. The court had ruled in his favour.

The latter case is pending in court. 

But, last week, police wanted to question him over reports he was trying to interfere with state witnesses in the case. 

Lelang was summoned twice by the police to go to the Boroko police station. Even Police Commissioner Anthony Wagambie wrote to him to go to the police station. He failed to do so.

But Korowi said the police officers had treated the Lelang unfairly.

“If it was in relation to the criminal charges against Lelang, in which he was requested to attend at the Boroko police station for a record of interview relating to the complaints of attempting to pervert the course of justice, then, there was no urgency for him to attend as he was not a common criminal,” the lawyer said.

He said Wagambie had agreed to a request from Lelang to delay his visit to the police station because he had to seek a medical check overseas and that he would come to the police station upon his return.

Korowi claimed that the police officers did not have any arrest or search warrants.

He said he had reported the matter to Wagambie and lodged a formal complaint with the internal public complaints division.